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Do i need to carry my passport on me when sightseeing?

Janeea

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
Do i need to carry my passport on me when sightseeing? and what type of ID is acceptable for drinking, and 18+ venues? Is my ID likely to be checked for a glass of wine over lunch?

First time traveller - lots of questions Smile

2wanderers

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
quote:
Do i need to carry my passport on me when sightseeing?
Assuming you are not travelling in any of the more authoritarian countries where ID checks occur from time to time, the answer is no. (And really, I have travelled in authoritarian countries, and have only ever been passport checked while I'm travelling between towns)

It's a preference thing - do you feel your passport is safer when you physically have it on you, or when it's at your hotel or hostel? Some have safes, but not all. Personally, I dislike being separated from my passport when it's anywhere less secure than my own home.
quote:
and what type of ID is acceptable for drinking, and 18+ venues?
When travelling internationally, your passport is the only universally accepted ID. But for most 18+ type venues it's highly probable that an IDP, a driver's license from home, or sometimes even a student ID card would be accepted.
quote:
Is my ID likely to be checked for a glass of wine over lunch?
Depends what country and how old you look. Many European countries are very liberal about alcohol and aren't likely to ID check anyone. Some have drinking ages low enough that anyone old enough to travel alone will clearly and obviously be above the limit. Others have stricter liquor laws. If you're still a teenager (or look like one) best to be prepared.

Janeea

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
I'm 22 and am only travelling to Italy and Switzerland. I'm travelling with my mother (which is more likely to make me seem younger than older) and staying in reasonable hotels and b&b's for most of the trip. I think I'll keep it in the safe to begin with and see how I go. thanks for your reply!

Malene

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
Ahh - but those are wine cultures. The restaurants will serve wine to a minor accompanied by a parent without even thinking. If you look less than say 15 years old you might not be able to get alcohol without your mom's presence. If you look less than 10 years old maybe some places wont serve you alcohol. I was frequently served alcohol in Switzerland when I was 13+ years old, but only when my mom was around. By the time I was 16 I looked old for my age, and had no trouble getting alcohol anywhere, parental units presence or not.

It also depends if you just enjoy a glass or two of wine, or are out to get plastered. They might look a little closer if its the latter.

Switzerland should have no trouble accepting your drivers license or other official ID from Australia. I know Italy less, but wouldnt be surprised if its the same.

If the hotel does not have a safe I would keep the passport on you. I too get a little clingy with my passport when I am abroad, but it does depend where I am if I carry it with me or not. For instance I do a lot of snorkeling and some scuba diving. So I usually leave all my identification in the hotel when I am in or around the water.

Malene

Janeea

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
I can almost definately say I look older than 15.

Thanks everyone for your replies Smile

Marnath

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
I tend to carry my passport on me. I figure if something happens to me I have bigger things to worry about. A money belt or hidden pocket is a great idea. In winter, my parka has a hidden pocket that usually I put my passport and majority of money in.

Italy will be no problem. I can tell you I only found one establishment that ever carded me when I was 18 and that was only because we were ordering shots. Wine is truly considered part of food in Italy. Many restaurants leave a bottle of house red on every table, expecting most customers to want wine with their meal.

If you are into going on the night club scene make sure you have an ID, but again only the more "American" places would tend to hassle you and a driver's license or student ID card tends to work. I would definitely get an ISIC (International Student ID card) as you are under 26 and it gets many discounts all throughout Europe.

seraphim

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
What are you going to do with your passport if you don't take it with you? I wouldn't want to risk losing it.

In Belgium, you do have to have your passport or ID card with you at all times, and I think that is the case for most of Europe, with some exceptions (the Netherlands and the UK, that I know of).

I have never been asked for ID to drink (even when I was under 16), but you may need to prove your age going to some clubs or discos, or when going to a movie that you have to be over 16 for (I was asked until well into my twenties). Also, if you get into an accident or something, not having your passport doesn't seem smart.
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Marnath

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
There's a variation of the ISIC. The International Youth Travel Card for anyone under 26. Check out the website to see how to apply: http://www.isic.org/

I believe it offers the same discounts. Most countries give "student" discounts on transportation to anyone under 26. Saves quite a chunk of change. The best savings I had was when I spent two weeks in North Rhine area of Germany and got a ticket that was good for two weeks unlimited travel anywhere in that state for 16 Euro. It covered my around town and inter-city transportation for the whole trip.

Janeea

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
I've never been overseas before so I've never needed to carry a passport. It hadn't really occurred to me until now about what to do with it. I think I'll get an ISIC and keep the passport in the safe at the hotel. The less I have to carry with me the better. Most of the places we're staying are fairly decent, three star hotel options so it should be safe in a safe.

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
Ditto on the carrying of passport. I feel funny when it's not on my body, though in the better hotels and B&B's they have hotel safes, if you don't feel comfortable. Still, ALWAYS carry a copy with you, in case the police ask you for valid ID. YOu can tell them that its in the safe, and they'll be glad to escort you to get it.

Other than police, you'll seldom use it in these countries. One thing. If you're driving in the back seat of a car in Germany, and have no seatbelt, they'll want the passport to give you a fine. I suppose Switzerland is like that as well if you rent cars.

Now, I've never really had to take out my passport except to deal with sundry police issues, none of them having to do with my arrest!!!!

Usually Its used to make a police report if something is stolen and insurance covers the item. IN this case a copy won't do.

I use an under the pants holder that is pretty much invisible, and survived the one time I WAS robbed, due to a very stupid set of circumstances that goes under

Bad Traveller, BAD thread. Ie, I was far more stupid than I can credit now, even thinking back on it. I should have known better.

When I was 17, I wandered all over Rome and Florence by myself while my grandmother lay in a room sick. I had no guidebook, and no intention of buying one. I just used the tourist maps and asked people what was good to see. I had no problems at all. Stay away from bands of gypsies in very tourist locations and you should be fine in Italy. They tend to be pickpockets.

This leads to advise #2

Keep no real ID or credit cards in your wallet or purse, always in a hidden belly unit, or somewhere hidden. That way when you are pickpocketed, and if you travel enough it will happen at least once, they only get walking around cash. Keep all wallets in front pockets, not rear pockets. Sometimes they're pros and you just have no chance when they work in groups.

Never keep your Passport or identity documents say, in a backpack, for if you leave it sitting somewhere, and its snatched... bye......
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

Malene

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2009
True on the pickpockets. Especially in large European cities somehow.

My mom once took a train in Paris. She was holding on to the strup of her purse very hard and conscienciously. When she got off the train thats all she had.........

They are good, and fast, and you will never know what, how or where it happened.

Credit cards, valuable ID, and majority of money should not be in a purse outside your body.

Make sure to split up any cash you have so if you lose some, its not the end of the world.

Malene

flaps

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2009
Always keep it on me. But keep it secure in a zipped front pocket or in a money belt.

Its a judgement call though.
- Is it more likely to be stolen from you or your room/safe?

Libby

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2009
I even sleep with my money belt on.

My passport never leaves me unless I'm in the shower. I've heard too many horror stories.

metalhead

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  • Added on: January 16th, 2009
I live in Germany and my brother was visiting from NY. While I was at work he decided to go to the park to read for a while. Not long after getting to the park he was approached by the police and asked for ID. He didn't have his passport and a NY driver's license doesn't qualify as ID in Germany. They asked him where he was staying. Of course he didn't know, he just knew the apartment was "near a Penny Markt on Leipziger Strasse". Next thing he knew he was in the back of a police car on the way to Lepziger Strasse. They took him home to so he can show them his passport. Of course everything was ok once he showed the passport, but I'd take your passport with you always to avoid any inconveniences.
R.I.P. Dimebag

markk

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2009
Better to carry only photocopy, or ID and hotel key is usualy enough.
Good trips!


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